tv FOX News Watch FOX News July 4, 2009 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT
decision raises questions about the president's pick for the court. did the press take note? helen thomas takes control of a white house briefing. >> of controlling the press-- >> u.s. troops moving out and iraqis celebrate the departure, is the press cheering as well? michael jackson's death sends the news media off the wall. is it time to beat it? ♪ just beat it >> want to talk to aliens? >> we come in peace. >> and has south carolina's governor given too much to the press? >> on the panel this week, marissa guthrey, syndicated columnist cal thomas, jim pinkerton, fellow new american
foundation and fox forum contributor and judy miller, writer and forum contributor as well. i'm jon scott, fox news watch is on right now. on wednesday, president obama held a town hall meeting in virginia on health care taking questions from the audience. and several online sources as well. well, it turns out the audience was invited, the questions pre-screened. the scenario which even riled veteran white house reporter helen thomas. >> (inaudible). >> a tough question, it's a question coming from somebody who is invited or screened, or the question was screened. >> tim, tim. >> . >> let's have this discussion as a conclusion of the town hall meeting. >> no, no, no, we're having it now. we don't have to have it now. >> which question do you object
to at the town hall. . >> wow, jim, as the national review said on thursday, if you lost helen thomas you've got to wonder, is the white house losing the battle with the media here. no, plenty of high cards to play, including the promise that katie cure ishg will get her own town hall meeting after abc and nbc got their specials, this reminds me of four years ago the bush administration pushed the social security plan and accused and got caught of planting questions in town hall meetings like that and they got slaughtered in the mainstream media and now we'll see what happens in the wake of this story. >> there did seem to be a lot of displeasure in the press room against this. >> it goes against every fiber in the journalist's being that feel they're being controlled and immediately rebel against
that. i mean, what helen thomas said is that what the hell do they think we are? puppet. i mean, that gets to it. gosh, how could they get that on air? >> and that's what you say. so is it going to make a difference, judy. >> i think it's going to make a difference because we've finally, finally seen some signs of life from the press. it was obvious that they were staging questions. he looks at his list, he says, let's see, so-and-so, where are you? and then the question gets asked. so, it was nice that helen thomas of all people began to notice. >> yeah, because she's generally pretty favorable for the white house. >>, but she's got a skeptical streak and a sense of tradition and this does not happen in white house press conferences or at least it's not supposed to happen occurring all the time. >> and nixon-- . kudos to helen and chip for raising this. the administration, you hear it
all the time. dealing with the press, look, we won the election why are you questioning us, we got a majority of the vote. i think that's very injurious and by the way this isn't the only way of course that this white house or even previous ones play this game. the game is played this way. if you want so-and-so on your show, if you want to do an interview then we want to see some positive coverage. i got the same thing during the bush 41 administration when i had difficulty seeing this man i've known for many years, one of his aides said maybe if you write a positive column about him and maybe you'll get to see him and i wrote a negative one just to know they can't play that game. >> susan has a lot to look forward to. in the midst of all of this, when obama hugged that woman who was a plantment her cancer was real enough, but her being there was a total artifact of planning, she said, quote, this is a quote, old display of presidential concern, end quote. just like stalin putting
ukrainian family victims on his lap during the 30's. >> but is the press, they know it's happening now. is it going to make them more critical of this white house as the coverage goes forward? >> i hope so, all what's working against the administration is all the hypocritical calls for transparency. helen thomas and chip reed said you're calling for transparency and screening the question. >> the role of the press is to question not just for the sake of questioning, but to present another point of view. but the whole john stossel special op health care which had contrary views to the administration was wiped out by the abc town hall meeting. now, we've had, i don't know if they've rescheduled it or reput it on again, but some information now is coming out on the internet. the role of the press is not to be a cheerleader. first african-american president, beautiful family, that's for the tabloids to do. the role of the press is to question so the public can get accurate information. >> let's talk about another branch of government now, all
this week, a long anticipated decision was discussed after it came down from the supreme court. in a 5-4 decision the court ruled in favor of 20 firefighters from new haven, connecticut. they had sued claiming they were denied promotions only pause of their race. the decision overturned a circuit court ruling handed down by a panel of judges that included the supreme court nominee, sonya sotomayor. here is what one of the victims told shaun hannity. >> i think we view discrimination as discrimination plain and simple. we were discriminated upon because of our race just like african-americans were in the past in other issues, so it's plain old discrimination. >> all right. marissa, sotomayor's confirmation hearings begin shortly. does the fact that her decision got overturned here, does that mean she should expect tougher questioning from the senators or maybe from the press? >> i think so.
i think she was always going to receive tough questioning on this particular case and on the affirmative action issue. i mean, it's-- this is an issue that's become the-- it's risen to a boiling point, i think, and also, you know, you have opponents of affirmative action pointing to president obama as the very reason why we don't need it anymore. >> judy is disagreeing. >> i think the courts are all over the map on this as the best of the written coverage pointed out. and i think that she did not write this decision, and that you could-- and even, look, it was 5-4, it was very close. and there were very good reasons to consider it in context. i don't think this is a big issue for her, i really don't. >> the courts are all over the map, but the country is strongly against this. but the examiner had a 4-1 against the new haven, against sotomayor, against new haven, cop con against the sotomayor position. the leaves are mixed on affirmative actions and the cup
country is against it. the elites are up so far. if you want to hear what's going on during the gaps, go to foxnews.com fox news watch after the show check it out. we will be back in two minutes >> independence day in iraq, has u.s. troops pull out. is the press cheering too loudly? and coverage of michael jackson consumes the media. is this a bad sign? the answer is next on news watch. limb: dude that was sick!
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>> more separations in iraq on tuesday as u.s. troops begin to withdraw from iraqi cities. the first major step from withdrawing all the forces in the nation by december 31st of 2011. president obama promised all combat troops will be gone with the country by end of august, 2010. a little more than a year from now. all right, jim, you've been from
iraq and has the press ever gotten the story right? (laughter) >> i mean, walt whitman says the real war will never get in the books and i think that's probably going to take a long time before the truth about iraq comes out. i will say this, the press is haunted by the backlash against the media from vietnam when they've seemed a little too happy that we lost in 1975 ap this time around, they're just trying to play it coolment i think mark has done some great coverage, with the army officer who was-- got his leg blown off a moment after she left him. so there's a lot of moving coverage that hasn't yet had a chance to really be-- >> well, the war started with the embedding of correspondents which really seems to change the attitudes. >> it did for the betterment i mean, and then you began to really get a feel for the war on the ground and you can argue that america's turned against the war because of that process which is not, i imagine, what
the bush administration had in mind when they authorized it, but i'm struck by how relatively good the arab coverage has been, iraqi coverage in a country never had a tradition of the free press and yet you've had really profound articles questioning whether or not the pullout is too soon, whether or not it's too late, whether or not the americans should have been there at all. you have the real range of opinions, more so than you do in this country. >> let's contrast it to the first gulf war, quick, few casualties, johnnie came marching home, schwarzkopf was the hero, six figures in lecture series and parades under bush 41. we have this war, a different era and different president, won't be parades and warm welcoming of the troops because barack obama is opposed to the war, he's not able to credibly stage a celebration for the
troops because he was against it. and the media was slammed for being overpatriotic. tom brokaw was criticized for not wearing the pin on his lapel on his suits. and the saddam hussein, never had in the fbi translated interviews with him, i never had the weapons of mass destruction, people want it to go away and i think the media is following that. >> one of the stories you brought to our attention, jim, this out of washington, i mean shall "the washington post" one of the major opinion leadners this country. and lo and behold in the days when the papers are struggling to buy new sources of re knew came word from the post may have found one or tried to. >> the post as of late in the week was caught redhanded trying to sell access to corporate fat cats and lobbyist toss schmooze with members of the obama administration, a series of
$250,000, this is a major scand scandal-- >> and interesting to what the white house says, but what relationship they had in the planning of this. >> for viewers who might not know exactly what we're talking about, a series of dinners, cocktail parties at the homes of washington's most-- >> editors. >> owners. >> the publishers and reporters would be involved. >> right. >> and a memo went out suggesting that, oh, if you want to talk health care with some of the, you know, top folks in the obama administration, come over to my house, $25,000 will get you in the door. >> in off the record, noncontroversial settings, the flyer said, intimate setting. >> this wasn't money that was going to be donated to charity. >> no. >> not unless you consider that a charity, it may be given the drop off in revenue. look, this is paying for access, this is an out-- this is a line do you not cross in journalism, this is one of the fundamental principles.
in most-- in my contract with my syndicate tribune, it's specifically prohibits you from taking any money from anybody and then going and writing the story favorable to those people. that's a firing offense. >> all right, so to be fair, they dropped it, right? the word got out and they said, oh, this is just preliminary. >> and a lobbyist blew the whistle on them. a lobbyist. >> a lobbyist is helping "the washington post." >> the lobbyist was so offended by this, that he leaked this e-mail to a reporter. >> what used to be a washington post reporter. >> and on the politico, it's obviously, still has good sources inside "the washington post," and they will discover more of this going on elsewhere in the media and that will come out soon enough. >> a reflection of desperation. >> lobbyists teaching ethics to journalists, great. there's going to be more of this on foxnews.com. we are going to continue to cover that story as you mentioned. we would like your help as well, story ideas are always welcome,
like that one. if you come across a story that smells of media bias, e-mail us, news email@example.com. we will be back. >> his sudden death, a question of drugs, the mysterious will and his family affairs. real stories or a media feeding frenzy? and what would you say it an alien? all next on news watch. two medium cappuccinos, you're ready for the mid-morning rush thanks to a good breakfast. one coffee with room, one large mocha latte. medium macchiato, light hot chocolate hold the whip, and two espressos. make one a double. she's fiber focused! i have two cappuccinos, one coffee with room, one large mocha latte, a medium macchiato, a light hot chocolate, hold the whip, and two espressos, one with a double shot. gonna take more than coffee to stay this focused. stay full and focused through the morning... with a breakfast of kellogg's® frosted mini-wheats® cereal; an excellent source of fiber that helps you avoid... the distraction of mid-morning hunger.
and more controversy over jackson's will, all of this as the buildup continues to the jackson funeral tuesday at the staples center in los angeles. one reporter has predicted it will be the biggest funeral of all time. all rightment m ris is a, -- marissa you've been watching the story of the coverage. this guy sold a lot of cd's, record albums in the old days. >> he's back on the charts now. >> he also sold a lot of magazines, is this one more way for the media to ring money out of michael jackson. >> they're reacting a, huge outpouring from the fans and public. to be fair, i mean, his life got very strange and bizarre, but he was, he did leave a very big mark on music and music videos and et cetera. so, we're seeing sort of the, in the beginning of the coverage, we're sort of laudatory and looking at his accomplishments and now what we're seeing and going to continue to see is the,
you know, the picking of the bones, if you will. >> was it overdone, jim? >> go ahead, tell us what you really think. >> i would never speak ill of the dead. i'll leave that to linda in the new york post who called him a man who looked like the phantom of the opera who behaved like a depraved worm. >> ooh. >> ouch. >> with a do you mean ouch? we're talking about an accused pedophile here, is the message of michael jackson, apart from his great contribution of music which nobody is challenging, but how many times have they mentioned that part of his past and also the fact that if you're rich enough and dead enough in america, little things like this don't matter. >> michael jackson was a cash cow in life and he'll be a bigger cash cow in death. when night line beats conan on the tonight show and david letterman, 27 million people tuning in, look, we love our profession, but it's a business first. if you can't make money, then
you can't put on things. i may lament the overload, but fact is a lot of people wanted to see it and that's what television is there to do to satisfy the masses. >> the phone rang in my office one day, i picked it up, a viewer who said he was just dialing numbers at random, and fox news channel to complain about the overwhelming michael jackson coverage and this was only 24 hours into it, i mean. >> and watching-- >> well, poll said two-thirds of public, accord to go a pew center poll said there was too much coverage. as cal pointed out the ratings are through the roof. >> why would they think there was too much coverage when there was 93% cable news was devoted to michael jackson on thursday and friday? >> because people want it. >> and there used to be a line between, you know, traditional media outlets as and the tabloids and that line seemed to go away. >> well, i know. >> probably changed in the late 70's when knowledge transformed
abc and hired barbara walters not because she had any news credibility, she was a celebrity interviewer and began a cycle that we still live with today. >> and then there were some of the, you know, well, there were twitter updates that suggested, you know, that had people crazy and other celebrities supposedly had died. >> everything could get out now thanks to facebook and twitters and why editors are more valuable and and it could be put out there from so-called responsible sources because it's exciting. >> what did you say, responsible. >> and news divisions are being inundated. people are calling them and saying, hey, various hangers on and former business associates of michael jackson are calling up with all of the tips and half of wrongment there was-- there were a lot of reports that there was going to be a carivan to neverland and the public
viewing, it was wrong. >> can you imagine the funeral coverage? i mean, what is that going to be like? >> i don't want to imagine the funeral coverage. i may be accused of being focused too much on foreign policy, but really, all michael all the time. it was only interrupted by the prince of ponzi schemes, from michael to madoff, the transition. >> more coverage than the second coming. >> it's time now for our caught in the web segment. >> jack the ripper is back in the news. well, at least on the web. you can check out original reports from the times of london newspaper, on everything from the ripper murders to the battle of trafalgar on the paper's website. it's been said newspapers are the rough draft of history. here is your chance to look it over and read all about it. >> a scene there from mars
attacks in which seemingly friendly aliens arrive in the u.s. with disasterous consequences and that's got us wondering, how would you greet an alien. the setty institute in california where they search for extraterrestrial intelligence is asking folks to share their alien ice breakers on a website called earth speaksment so far responses on the site, two categories, we like you let's party or we've got guns we know how to use them. we report you decide. as america celebrates its 233rd birthday today, an extra light in the sky along with the fireworks. across the country americans will be treated to spectacular views of the international space station. as it orbits 220 miles above earth. many low kagses will have unusually long sighting opportunities, as much as five minutes in some cases, weather permitting, as the station flies almost directly overhead. find out when to see the station
from your city, visit space flight .nasa.gov and search sky watch. we have to take a break, one man who was grateful for the michael jackson coverage. >> south carolina's governor reveals his affair, but he doesn't stop there. should he stop talking to the press? that's next on news watch. [ female announcer ] we were flattered when regenerist beat the $100 cream. flabbergasted when we creamed the $700 cream! for under $30 regenerist micro-sculpting cream hydrates better than 32 of the world's most expensive creams. fantastic. phenomenal. regenerist. as we get older, our bodies become... less able to absorb calcium. he recommended citracal. it's a different kind of calcium. calcium citrate. with vitamin d... for unsurpassed absorption, to nourish your bones.
loving, nurturing. oooph. momma's coming, baby! [panting, grunts] ah! ah! ahhhh! all: mamma! [baby dinosaurs laugh] sid: [laughs] ha ha, no, stop, stop. what makes headlines one day gets shoved aside the next. especially when a mega media person like mike jackson passes away. once the jackson death pushes other stories aside, mark sanford faded from the national spotlight. but not so because no sooner had the governor escaped the press that he felt the need to tell us more giving a lengthy interview to the associated press.
he described his former lover as his soul mate, but only crossed the sex line with one woman. he promised to repay taxpayers to pay for his trip to see his soul mate. there you go. he is right back in the news. the question, should the press stop listening to the governor? >> look, as long as as long as he is governor we have to cover him but clearly he is having a nervous briaxd. >> hats off for the state newspaper that he took 38 trips unescorted by security detail and 39 trips in 2008, that is a lot of explaining to do. >> he is clearly a narcisist. >> and to promote this life tile style and when somebody follows it and they are saying they shouldn't do it, they are